McCain's friends reminisce during ride on Straight Talk Express

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By Carol A. Clark

SANTA FE to ESPAÑOLA – As an infant living in Los Alamos prior to the start of the Manhattan Project, former Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan resided with his family in the area now occupied by the North Mesa horse stables.

Lujan, also a former New Mexico  Congressman, spoke of his life here and of his longtime friendship with presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during an interview aboard the Straight Talk Express Thursday.

Lujan's father was a farmer. He also taught school in Santa Cruz and moved his family from Los Alamos to Santa Fe after the government condemned their property to make way for the Manhattan Project.

Lujan served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1989 and recalled when McCain arrived in Congress in 1982. Lujan was already the senior Republican on the Interior Committee.

“We had a subcommittee on Indian Affairs that no Democrat wanted to chair so McCain, in his freshman year, became the only Republican chair in the whole congress,” Lujan said. “When we asked him to be chairman of that committee – he didn't hesitate. He does what has to be done and that's a good trait.”

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